U.S. Water Utilities Sabotaged by Russian Hackers

A hacking group linked to the Russian military is suspected of a cyberattack in January that caused a tank at a Texas water facility to overflow, experts from cybersecurity firm Mandiant said on April 17.

The hack caused a water tower to overflow in Muleshoe, Texas, resulting in tens of thousands of gallons of water flowing into the street and drain pipes. At the same time, two other towns in Northeastern Texas also noticed suspicious cyberactivity on their networks.

Sandworm: The cyberattack has been linked to the hacker group Sandworm, a unit of Russia’s gru military intelligence agency. The hackers posted videos on social media that show their manipulation of the town’s water-control systems, in which they called themselves “Cyber Army of Russia Reborn.” They also claimed responsibility for sabotaging a Polish wastewater treatment plant and a French water mill.

Sandworm became notorious for turning out the lights in parts of Ukraine at least three times, hacking the 2018 Olympics opening games in South Korea, and launching one of the world’s most devastating cyberattacks known as NotPetya.

Life-threatening cyberattacks: While nobody was hurt in the cyberattack in Texas, the United States has faced an increasing number of cyberattacks, which will likely become more damaging in the future.

U.S. officials warned in February of potentially life-threatening cyberattacks on U.S. computer networks responsible for essential facilities such as water treatment plants, electrical grids, oil and natural gas pipelines, and transportation systems.

Achilles’ heel: Trumpet editor in chief Gerald Flurry has long warned of America’s overreliance on vulnerable computer networks and other cybertechnologies. In 1995, he quoted analyst Joseph de Courcy, who called this dependence “the Western world’s Achilles’ heel.”

To learn more about this vulnerability and other nations exploiting it, read “China Hacks America—and ‘None Goes to Battle.’